In this episode, join Jared Judge as he embarks on yet another venue tour adventure. Discover the breathtaking garden-style venue he explores, complete with Lily ponds, sculptures, and three distinct event spaces. Jared shares how these tours help him secure coveted spots on preferred vendor lists, potentially opening the door to a multitude of gig opportunities. However, the episode takes a thought-provoking turn when Jared discusses venues that require payment to be included on their preferred vendor lists. Delve into the ethical dilemmas surrounding this practice and the importance of building profit margins into your music business. Tune in and make informed decisions about your music career's future.
Hey, what's up gigging pros! It's Jared Judge. Welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. I am on my way back from another event venue that I just toured with my instrument and played and chatted with the venue owner and so that I could get on their preferred vendor list. And it was another success. So really excited about that. It was down in Littleton, Colorado, 40 minutes away from my place. It is 1150 in the morning, on a Thursday, and there is traffic. And I was just reminded of a quote, my grandfather, he liked to tell jokes, and one of the ones that he would always tell when we were in the car, and he was driving and there was traffic, usually, there wouldn't be any traffic if there weren't any cars. So just made me think of that. But that's not the point of today's episode. Today's episode is about that venue tour. It was awesome, really cool garden type venue. And they had sprawling fields with lots of flowers and Lily ponds, and some sculptures in the garden. And then they had three venues within that one venue. One of them was like a permanent tent fixture with electricity and a permanent like concrete floor. And they said, they host a lot of parties and receptions their nonprofit events. Then the next one was like this cabin style venue. Really cool, intimate cabin, log cabin, Colorado feel. That was great. And then the third one was this smaller, like round building, I guess it was like an octagon or something. But not too small, small enough that it would fit maybe 100 150 guests at a at a party. And they primarily host weddings at this venue. And it was gorgeous, beautiful venue. They said they could accommodate up to six weddings a day at this venue. And they average about three, which is a lot of gig opportunities for people like you and me. And there are tons of these venues in this city. And I know there are tons across the country and even the world. So, you know, the reason why I go on these venues, tours is so that I could network myself out, get on preferred vendor lists and get some more gigs. And that strategy really does work for me. In fact, at the end of today's the venue tour, they mentioned they've got public events at this venue. And she said that she would love to have me perform for one of their upcoming public events, which I thought was pretty fun. I don't typically do public events, but I'll do one every once in a while kind of like several episodes ago, I did the art on the farm event. I was I guess back in April. Yeah, today. This is July. No, we're in August now. So yeah, it was back in July or or June or July. And yeah, so I do public events every once in a while that one interesting thing did come out of this venue tour, which is she asked me if I was interested in being on her preferred vendor list, I didn't even have to bring it up. However, their preferred vendor list is one of the few that I and my my Fulltime Music Academy members have come across where you actually have to pay to be on it. So you know, most of the time, these preferred vendor lists are free, like they don't cost the musicians to be on it. But there are some where you actually do have to pay. There's obviously a lot of moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding that. Like, should we really be recommending venue or vendors to our clients, just because they've paid us some money. Sounds a little bit like bribery to me. But I'm not here to judge. I'm just here to accept my reality and decide how to how to deal with it. So the reality is, this one does require payment. I think it was around $500 for a year, which for some of you, you know, if you're on one of those gig booking platforms, that could be an entire year at least subscription for you. For others. That could be one month of it. I know in places like LA Orange County, California, oh WeddingWire subscription is cost some people like four or 500 bucks a month. But you have to decide if it's worth it to you. Now, I'm going to harp on this issue, probably until I die that musicians and anyone who sells a product or a service needs to build in a profit margin, an actual percentage where you know, every time I sell one of these things. Every time I book one of these gigs, a percentage is going towards the company as the profit, whether that's 20% 30% 40% Whatever you need. To build it in, for situations exactly like this, if you're paying for advertising, where does that money come from, it should not come from your back pocket, it should come from the company. Even if you're a soloist, even you're a single act, you are still running the company, whether you like it or not. And companies need to have profits so that you're not paying for advertising out of your own back pocket, the company should plan for that. And if you're not doing a profit margin, that's in my opinion, it's just poor planning. Because the alternative option to me paying $500 a year to be on this preferred vendor list was she said, we could do it for a percentage of all the events that you book through us. And she said that the percentage that they charge to their caterers is 15%. What that means is, if you book $100 gig, then$15 of that gig, go to the venue. If you book $1,000 gigs, that's $150. And the man scales proportionally, that's why it's a percentage. So if you are not building a profit margin into your gigs, then that percentage comes out of your back pocket. Whereas if you charge a 40% profit margin, then your musician still get paid the same, you get paid the same for performing. But instead of making 40% profit margin, you make 25%. Because the other 15 goes towards this, this venue for, for they're keeping you on their preferred vendor list. And so in my opinion, because it's such a new, like concept, to me, and I am new to Colorado, and everything, the percentage was actually more appealing to me. Because instead of paying upfront, and then if I get zero gigs, well, I just wasted $500. This kind of incentivizes them the venue to shop me around. Because the more gigs that I book as a result of their recommendation, the more money they make. So good in the long run, like we didn't agree to it yet, we're still going to negotiate it. But in the long run, if they if they book a ton of gigs for us, and then they will get paid a lot of money as a result of our partnership, instead of just the flat fee. Now, it could work that they booked so many gigs where you know, I'm paying them 1000s of dollars as a result of this percentage. And that would be awesome for them. And I wouldn't mind it too, because these are opportunities that wouldn't have come my way otherwise. But if it's the case, then perhaps in the following years, we would do the flat rate instead of the percentage, sorry, I got a little distracted, I'm on the road. So that's kind of the, the situation that I'm dealing with right now. It's a good situation to be in, they loved having me, they loved hearing me perform. And she said that I was the first musician to ever, like, do what I did. Which is because this strategy is so new and unique that no other musicians do this. No other music business people are teaching this. But it works amazing because like, you know, $1,000 gifts will come out of this. But yeah, there are there some problems that do come out of it. It just means we have to think more creatively, and, you know, plan for the future. But that's okay, because that's what we do. That's why we are in this for the long haul. That's why we make more money than other musicians, is because we actually care about this aspect of it the music business aspect of it. I posted in our full time music academy group the other day, that many musicians desire better careers, they desire more gigs, more money from their music, more connection with their fans and audience. But full time musicians, which that's what I call our Fulltime Music Academy members full time musicians actually do something about it. So if you are a full time musician, and you find the business aspect of this fascinating, or you see that it is the path to get those high paying gigs consistently and beat out the competition or just make more money with your music, and be less in debt from all the instruments and equipment you'd like to buy that become one become a full time musician. Join us in full time Music Academy by getting a free 30 day trial along with The Gig Vault, which is a treasure trove of over 24,665 venues and event planner contacts. Just like the one I just went to in Littleton Colorado that one's on the list. And then comes with a free 30 day trial of Fulltime Music Academy and do something with your music. So join us at OpenTheGigVault.com And I'll see you on the inside. So Thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember "Your music will not market itself!" Bye everybody.